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Concrete Driveway Cost

Concrete Driveway Cost Factors

The cost of installing a concrete driveway can vary greatly. Before hiring a contractor to complete your project, take a few minutes to think about what you want and how much that is going to cost. This article is intended to help you make an informed hiring decision.

Here are some factors that will impact the cost:

1. Is a permit required? In most areas, you will need a permit to install a new driveway. Securing a permit should be included in the cost estimate you receive from the contractor. Local jurisdictions may have different regulations about driveway installation.

2. How big will the driveway be? The contractor will probably quote you a fixed fee per square foot of driveway. A lengthy, circular driveway will cost significantly more than a short driveway for a one-car garage.

3. Do I also need to install a patio or walkway? When installing a new concrete driveway, you may want to install a walkway or patio as well. This will come at an additional cost. However, you’ll save by having all of the concrete delivered at the same time. We have everything you need to know about the cost of installing a concrete patio.

4. Concrete finishes. Most concrete is given a basic trowel or broom finish. This is generally included in the cost of installation. If you are interested in adding a decorative finish (rock salt, exposed aggregate, etc.), this will add on to the cost of installing your driveway.

5. Thickness. The standard thickness of concrete is about 4 or 5 inches. Anything thicker will require more material, which will come at an additional cost. Local building codes can vary greatly so make sure to ask your contractor about the minimum thickness required in your area.

6. Drainage. If your driveway is sloped away from the house, drainage should not be a major concern. However, in other cases, it may be necessary to install additional drainage systems to prevent water from excessively pooling on your driveway.

7. Site preparation. Before pouring the concrete for your driveway, the contractor may need to do some site preparation. This may include a good amount of grading and excavation, especially if you are building a brand new driveway. In order to create a level and stable base, the contractor may need to install a layer of gravel as well.

8. Reinforcement. Concrete driveways are typically reinforced with steel bars (called rebar) or wire mesh. This reinforcement ensures that the driveway can support the weight of your vehicles and other heavy loads. Make sure the proper reinforcement is included in your cost estimate.

9. Tear out existing driveway. If you are replacing a driveway, there will almost always be an extra charge to demolish or tear out the existing driveway. Concrete demolition in particular is very labor intensive. This will add significantly to the cost of the project and it will tack on a day or two to the project timeline.

10. Decorative and colored concrete. There are many types of decorative concrete available. Concrete can be colored with a wide array of pigments while it’s still in liquid form. In other cases, concrete may be stained or dyed after it has hardened and cured. Additionally, concrete can be stamped to replicate the look of a brick or flagstone driveway. These decorative finishes will add on to the cost per square foot of installing your driveway.

11. Driveway accents. To really make your driveway stand out, you may consider installing some additional decorative features. For example, you may install specialty lighting along the driveway or you may have decorative brick or stone accents installed alongside the concrete.

12. Are there any curves or hills? In most cases, it is more affordable to install a flat, straight driveway rather than one with curves that is installed on hilly terrain. Your contractor will help you plan the best location for your driveway.

13. Cleanup. When reviewing the cost estimate from the contractor, make sure that the cost of cleanup is included in the quote. Once the driveway is completed, the crew should clean up any mess that remains.

14. Freeze protection. If you live in an area that experiences very cold winters, you may consider installing a heated driveway. Heating cables under the driveway will help prevent snow from accumulating on the surface of your driveway, eliminating the need for constant shoveling during a blizzard.

15. Sealers. The cost of applying a sealer to a concrete driveway is not typically included with a standard installation. However, a sealer is great for keeping unwanted moisture out of concrete. This is especially helpful in colder climates where temperatures fall below freezing. Freeze-thaw cycles can lead to unwanted cracks in concrete which can be very difficult to repair.

We hope that this information has been useful to you. Take a look at the ProMatcher Concrete Cost Report for information on the cost of installing a concrete driveway in your area. If you’re ready to start your project, we can match you to a pro near you.

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About the Author

ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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